International arrivals to Indonesia topped 8 million last year. According to the latest government figures, the south-east Asian country saw a 10.5 per cent increase in foreign visitors in 2012.
The Central Statistics Agency has also reported a 5.8 per cent increase in income from the tourism sector, generating $9.1 billion last year. Hotel occupancy also increased by a small percentage but the average stay for a hotel guest dropped from 1.93 days to 1.86 days.
Tourism and creative economy ministry spokesman, I Gusti Ngurah Putra said that the boost in tourism was “good news for Indonesia and this achievement shows that the government, private sector and other stakeholders have worked together very well to help boost tourism.”
Minister for Tourism, Mari Elka Pangestu has said that Indonesia expects to attract more tourists in 2013, specifically from China. 900,000 holidaymakers from China are expected to visit Indonesia this year, 300,000 more than in 2012. "We are optimistic that around 9 million foreign tourists will visit Indonesia, and 10 percent thereof are expected to come from China," said Mrs Pangestu.
"In order to attract more Chinese tourists to our country, the government will operate direct flights between Jakarta and Beijing five times a week. In addition, there will be flights serving the Jakarta-Shanghai and Jakarta-Guangzhou routes every day," she added.
Indonesia is part of the ASEAN tourism plan that aims to boost tourism to the 10 countries by 2015. Speaking of the countries plans to increase tourism further Mrs Pangestu said that the country is “focusing on seven special interest tourism sectors: historical and cultural tourism; nature and ecotourism; culinary and shopping tourism; MICE; recreational sports tourism; cruise; and health and wellness tourism.”